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improving your craft
what techniques are you currently working on?
marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Member since 5/11/08
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Date: 6/16/11 10:47 AM

Recently, I sewed a few dresses and found that I came across some steps which baffled me and struggled with a few techniques. For example, I had a difficult time with lining a dress, even though *everyone* says that is the easiest thing to do. I also wanted to add a stay to a waist area, and my result was , well, pretty damn ugly on the inside. All of this shows that I am at a point where I am trying new patterns, new styles, new techniques or making my own decisions about what to do...and my results are not as pleasing as I'd like.

What experiences do you have with this? Do you challenge yourself and live with just ok results, or do you practice and throw away? What techniques and skills are you currently trying to learn?

------
my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
The more I learn, the less I know.

loti
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loti  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/16/11 10:55 AM

There are a number of things that I would love to work on, like fabric manipulation... love origami folds!! and those japanese draping books - pattern manipulation.... I'm going to be a manipulating fool!!

Lately I've been working more on fit, and I've gotten way better.
As soon as I have a reasonable jacket muslin, I'll dive into that Chanel jacket waiting in my stash and practice, quilting, underlining, bound buttonholes and making braid trim.

If I try something new and it's not perfect, I keep at it until it's wearable. I throw very little out, but I spend time working with scraps, and asking questions here if it's something new.

------
"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
Coco Chanel

Stash Sewn in 2011 148.5 Yds
Stash Sewn in 2012.... counting...

http://adonising.blogspot.com

ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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In reply to marec


Date: 6/16/11 12:14 PM

Quote: marec
Do you challenge yourself and live with just ok results, or do you practice and throw away?

Is it okay to answer ~ both? If something is wearable I will happily live with okay results, happy that I learned something new and determined to keep at it until my results are not just okay but exact. Now if the results are not really wearable. . .well, then, I'll throw away and consider it a good learning experience, making sure I figure out what went wrong so I don't waste time and fabric again. But I'm very thrifty and frugal. . .I hate tossing a "wadder" so-called. . .and I sew slowly, to be honest, so my mistakes or imperfect attempts at new techniques are never usually so awful I can't manage to wear them. I'm basically a keep-trying kind of gal.

New techniques I'm learning currently: Well, I don't know that it's one technique per se, but I'm challenging myself with getting the fitting of my garments just right. I've bought lots of fitting guides and read a lot here and am learning.
happiness5
happiness5
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Date: 6/16/11 12:18 PM

I'm just finishing up my latest quilt. So far, I've only had one pucker and this quilt has a ton of squares on it. so that's a big improvement from when I started. I want to take classes to learn to do circles, angles, appliques etc, but my next project is going to be a simple skirt. I used to sew skirts years ago but haven't tried in ages. I wasn't at all interested in sewing clothes until I found this forum and now I can't stop thinking about it!

JillyBe
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JillyBe
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Date: 6/16/11 12:33 PM

Your question is timely I've been practicing techniques on scraps lately, & I'm now a total convert to doing this with anything new.

I really dislike the whole concept of wadders (as opposed to a muslin), so when something brand new, with 'potential disaster' written all over it, shows up, I grab my scraps & start practicing.

Recently it was welt pockets. Currently, I'm making jeans, so it's fly front zippers, pants fitting, and topstitching.

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http://jillybejoyful.blogspot.com/
a blog about creativity, sewing, vintage sewing machines, and...... life :)

rmusic1
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rmusic1
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Date: 6/16/11 1:11 PM

I'm learning something new on every project I've done so far. Hems are something I find hard, it takes such a long time on hands and knees pinning it all in to position. The actual sewing takes less time! Still, preparation saves you time later so it is worth doing...

I get the feeling adjusting patterns is something I will be spending a LONG time learning how to perfect. I am still a bit uncertain about making decisions. Fortunately (long may it last!) I have yet to generate a "wadder". Probably because I take such a long time to make stuff, mistakes are more apparent as I go along. Call it a silver lining? (hey, can I call that a pun?).

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/16/11 3:38 PM

Quote:
Call it a silver lining? (hey, can I call that a pun?).


rmusic1--->funny

JillyBe, I've been reading your blog and admiring the intensity of your preparation for each step of the jeans.

Here is what we have all listed so far-I thought it might be interesting to see what comes up:

loti-pattern and fabric manipulation (draping?); fit; Chanel jacket
ShantSeamstressing-fit
happiness5-circles, angles, appliques in quilting; simple skirt
JillyBe-welt pockets; fly front zippers; pants fitting; topstitching
rmusic1-hems; adjusting patterns (fit?)
HarrietHomeowner-finish seams; go for it attitude about using fabric; fit
MNBarb-swimsuit with bra cups

Fit is key, and I think takes the longest to learn because it involves making some decisions based on faith that your measurement skills are correct. Plus, there are so many variables in the garment, fabric being primary.

Some of the responses to this question on my blog take a longer view, and stitchers there said they are working on patience. :cool:

I'd love to hear from other PR members, especially some of the recent members.

-- Edited on 6/16/11 8:57 PM --
-- Edited on 6/17/11 0:23 AM --

------
my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
The more I learn, the less I know.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 6/16/11 4:42 PM

The technique I am forever trying to perfect... well, I'm not sure what you'd call it, precisely, but it's whatever comes between getting a mockup you're satisfied with, and actually moving on to the real garment!! I am a mockup pro! I make dozens of mockups a year... and very few actual garments. I can't seem to get over the hump of mockup perfection and dive into the real thing! There always seems to be something else to improve on... and as a result I get very few things done!

But on the bright side, as another poster said:

Quote:
I sew slowly, to be honest, so my mistakes or imperfect attempts at new techniques are never usually so awful I can't manage to wear them.


...When I DO manage to get the real garments made, I've had so much practice, they typically turn out really well!

I'm always trying to improve my BRAVERY as a sewer. I was totally shocked last month when my latest studio course wrapped up, and the instructor called me fearless! "You're not afraid of anything," she said. "You could wrestle a bear!" I could not believe that that was how she sees me (and she has been through GADS of unfinished mockups with me, so she knows my work!), when it's the polar opposite of how I see myself as a seamstress.

------
~Gem in the prairie

ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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In reply to rmusic1


Date: 6/16/11 5:28 PM

Quote: rmusic1
Probably because I take such a long time to make stuff, mistakes are more apparent as I go along. Call it a silver lining? (hey, can I call that a pun?).




Yes ma'am, that is a silver lining, for sure! And it's a wonderful pun. It's the flip side of being a slow seamstress, for me, for now. Maybe someday nice results will not come at the price of tortoise speed.
ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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In reply to marec


Date: 6/16/11 5:29 PM

This is a great thread, marec. It's encouraging to see that we're all in a process.

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